There have been a number of customers coming in asking about the upcoming 2024 Topps Series One Baseball release. After seeing all of the design work, imagery, teases and promotional materials, I’m really looking forward to ripping this year’s flagship baseball when it arrives in the middle of the month. This year, it’s not just because Series 1 means spring is coming.
That bright neon sign design with the rich, dark bleeding borders looks like it will offer a really interesting twist on the design. I think that eye-catching neon will really pop when we finally see it in Topps Chrome, too, especially in refractor form.
We snagged a few cases of the 2023 Panini Absolute Football blaster boxes this week and cracked one in the shop for the fun of it. It was nice to see the solid, if not spectacular, card design and the fact that rookies are featured in their pro uniforms with a nice silver design and differentiating backdrop.
We pulled a solid Anthony Richardson base rookie and a sharp Bryce Young By Storm insert. I feel like Panini upgraded this product with the design and the originality of the insert sets. The rookies are a nice upgrade with the foil and pro unis.
We have a nice spot for them on the shelf for $29.99, which is about as cheap as you’re going to find a new release product these days. Kids are Kaboom hunting, for sure but you can’t be disappointed with the quality of a sub $30 product even if you don’t hit the lottery ticket card.
The owner informed me of some very unfortunate news this week that Amazon has still yet to release his December payout. In a very odd situation, there’s absolutely no reason for this. We don’t have any outstanding issues, complaints, concerns, or anything else we have to address. Our account is 100% in full and good standing. So it’s been an ongoing issue that he’s been back and forth for over a month now with no resolution in sight. I suggested reaching out to an attorney or retaining some type of legal representation for help. As one might surmise, the December payout is a particularly large one that’s owed to us from the giant middleman at the moment.
At one point Friday afternoon, I picked up my phone and saw that I had sold a somewhat obscure 1979 Topps Rocky II sticker of Apollo Creed on eBay. I was rather happy about that fact and didn’t think much of it until a few minutes later when I refreshed our Shipstation page and saw that we completely sold out of our Super 7 Apollo Creed figures. These are popular figures, but there’s no way we sell 10 of them in 10 minutes. I, once again, went back to that magical handheld device that has every piece of information in the world on it. I was saddened to see that Carl Weathers, the well known actor had passed away at the age of 76. Being in a card shop with three 40-something guys, you could imagine we all were a little bummed to hear that news.
That does bring up an interesting, somewhat weird, and possibly morbid aspect of collecting. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve checked our orders to fulfill and found a random card, figure or even autograph of a certain person only to find out that they had just passed away. In most cases, these are items we’ve had for months, if not longer. I would hope that the customers would be buying these items to commemorate and honor the deceased and their incredible life, body of work, and contributions and not for some strange alternative reasons.
Anyone that collects, I mean truly collects, acquires items to bring themselves closer to a player, a game, an event, or moment in time. For a collector, it’s hard to quantify the amount of joy that having those artifacts and pieces of history bring to your life. There is a reason that rookie cards and first appearances mean so much to so many. There is a reason why the autograph experience and autographed items are so heralded in the hobby. There is good reason why real game used cards carry so much weight. It’s history and we want a small piece of it for ourselves. We, as collectors, want to be a part of the moment, and sometimes that can even show itself in tragic times such as a person’s passing.
After working a full Monday through Friday, I was excited to have the weekend off as we were traveling on a town to see my son for his 19th birthday.
The owner is back at the beach next week, so we are preparing for a smooth sailing week of teamwork at the shop.